Please click here to view pictures from our

40th Anniversary Tea.



Upcoming Events


March 28, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Washington Center for Aging Services
2601 18th St., N.E.,
Washington, DC 20018.

Please join us!

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2015 Annual Auction

April 10, 2015
6:30 PM to 10:00 PM

Loews Madison Hotel
1177 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Annual silent and live auction to raise funds for GWAC's charitable activities

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National Bar Association 2015 International Affiliates Meeting

May 06, 2015
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM



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February Member Spotlight

Diana Vilmenay


Diana Vilmenay is a co-chair of GWAC's membership committee and has held this position for the last two years.  As membership co-chair, Diana is responsible for recruiting and increasing GWAC’s membership numbers as well as ensuring members have full-access to privileges and services through GWAC.

Diana is an attorney with the Washington, DC office of Nixon Peabody LLP and a member of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution and Commercial Litigation practice groups.  In her practice she handles domestic and cross-border transactions including licensing and franchising.  She has experience across a wide range of sectors, including the transportation sector.  She represents clients throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.   Her practice also includes exposure to franchise-related matters and public-private partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean. She has written and edited a number of publications regarding public-private partnerships, franchising, mergers and acquisitions and other commercial transactions.  

Diana is a native of the DC area and an active member of the DC community.  She is a High Honor Roll member of the 2012 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, awarded for providing more than 100 hours of pro bono legal service to DC residents.  She is also a member of the ABA’s forum on franchising as well as an active member of the Howard University School of Law Alumni. 

Diana received her JD from Howard University School of Law and B.A. in French and Psychology from Georgetown University.  Diana is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia bars. 



Please use the link below to nominate a member that should be in the spotlight.

Member of the Month Nomination Form

Join Now!!

We are still accepting new members.  We would love for you to be part of our organization.  We have several career, social, and professional development events planned for this year.  Remember, membership has its advantages, such as access to the GWAC job bank and an invitation to some of our signature events.

We hope you consider joining our organization. Regular Membership is $65, Graduate Membership is $30 (graduated within the past two years), and Student Membership is $15.


Welcome!  This is the official website of the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association (GWAC).  It is a very exciting time, as we are celebrating our 40th year anniversary.  I am humbled and honored to serve as President for the 2014-2015 bar year.  My priorities are as follows:

1. Increase Pro Bono Service
Providing legal services pro bono is integral to the success of our justice system.  I became a lawyer to help the poor.  I believe it is imperative that every person who walks through the courthouse doors has access to affordable legal representation.  I plan for GWAC to partner with local legal services organizations to ensure that we do our part to contribute to this critical need.

2.  Strengthen Region XII
I plan for GWAC to work closely with the Washington Bar Association to foster more collaboration between our respective organizations.

3.  Connect with our seasoned, esteemed members
I am pleased to announce that we recently amended our bylaws to establish a Past President Advisory Council.  The Council consists of past GWAC presidents who serve as an expert resource and provide support, guidance, and assistance as needed.

GWAC is comprised of very strong, dynamic women who are changing the world.  I am confident that we will achieve these three ambitious goals with ease.

In closing, please feel free to contact me.  I welcome your feedback and look forward to you joining our membership

Thank you!

Melanie Bates
GWAC President


Please click here to view pictures from our 2013-2014 Judicial Reception.